Getting married in WA

Find information on marriage in Australia, getting married at the Perth Registry Office, how to find or become an authorised marriage celebrant and how to apply for a marriage certificate or single status certificate.

Marriage in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

To be married in Australia couples must:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild or sibling
  • be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying
  • lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with an authorised marriage celebrant or minister of religion at least one month prior to the intended date of marriage
  • provide their original birth certificate or passport
  • provide two witnesses over the age of 18 years to witness their marriage ceremony.

If either party has been previously married, a divorce certificate or death certificate of the previous spouse is required. All foreign language documents must be officially translated to English.

To find an authorised marriage celebrant refer to the list of Civil Celebrants or Ministers of Religion.

Once the marriage ceremony has taken place, the authorised marriage celebrant has 14 days to submit required marriage documents to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to enable registration of the marriage.  Once the marriage has been registered couples can apply to the registry for their legal marriage certificate.

Further information about marriage in Australia can be found on the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website.

Getting married at the Perth Registry Office

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The Perth Registry Office has two wedding rooms which offer magnificent views overlooking the Swan River. Friendly civil ceremonies are conducted Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) commencing at 9.00 am and concluding at 4.00 pm.  To book your wedding at the Perth Registry Office contact the Registry’s Marriage Services Team on 1300 305 021.

Wedding Rooms at Westralia Square
Grevillea Room (seats 35 guests) and Banksia Room (seats 20 guests)

All couples are required to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage, identification (passport or birth certificate) and, if previously married, a divorce certificate or death certificate of their previous spouse. These documents must be lodged with the Perth Registry Office at least one month before the desired date of marriage.

If you are eligible to post or email the Notice of Intended Marriage form, you will need to arrange for your signatures to be witnessed by a qualified person (as stated on the Notice) and have your supporting documents certified as true copies. Original documents will need to be sighted before your marriage ceremony can take place.

On the day of the ceremony, two witnesses must be present to witness your marriage and sign the marriage documentation. Your witnesses:

  • must be 18 years or older
  • know either party
  • can be family or friends.

Note: The Registry does not supply witnesses for your ceremony.

On occasion where the couple or witnesses do not speak and/or understand English the Registry will provide an interpreter free of charge.  This includes Auslan.

As the Registering Authority for all marriages in Western Australia, the Perth Registry Office is the only establishment that can issue the certified marriage certificate immediately after your marriage ceremony. This certificate is used to legally recognise your changed marital status.

Note: The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is not affiliated to the Perth Marriage Office which is operated by a private authorised marriage celebrant.

Change of name after marriage

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If you were married in Australia, a formal change of name is not always required if you wish to take your spouse’s surname. A certified marriage certificate, issued by an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation changed to a married surname. The same process applies should you wish to revert to your maiden surname after marriage, using your birth certificate as evidence of entitlement..

If you were married overseas, you may be required to register a formal change of name with the Registry before your married surname is accepted by some organisations. Refer to Changing your name for full details.

It is recommended that you check with the relevant authority to determine their specific requirements.

Overseas marriages

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While overseas marriages cannot be registered in Australia, they would generally be recognised as a legal marriage if it is recognised by that country as a lawful marriage. For evidence of your overseas marriage, it is recommended that you obtain a marriage certificate from their registering authority before you leave that country. The marriage certificate may require an official translation if not in English.

Single status certificate

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If you are planning to get married overseas, the foreign country's marriage authorities often require evidence that parties to a prospective marriage are free to marry. Such evidence may be a Result of Marriage Search Certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages which certifies that you have never been married in Western Australia, or if previously married, no further marriage/s has been registered. Only the person who is a party to the prospective marriage can apply and applications can only be issued from the Registry Office in Perth.

For further information about getting married overseas visit the Smartraveller website.

Divorce

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For information on getting divorced or obtaining a divorce certificate please refer your enquiries to Family Court of Western Australia.

Become an authorised marriage celebrant

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Although the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages maintains a register of Western Australian Authorised Marriage Celebrants, all requests for appointment must be referred to the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department.  This also includes Ministers from independent religious organisations.

Ministers from recognised denominations should contact their Nominating Authority for further information about becoming an authorised marriage celebrant.

Apply for a marriage certificate

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You can apply for a certified marriage certificate if the marriage was registered in Western Australia.  If the event occurred in another State or Territory please contact the relevant Registry Office.

Who can apply for a marriage certificate?

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Access Type
Applicant
Specific Requirements
Historical
Anyone (must be 16 years or over)
For marriages 75 years old or more
Family
One of the parties of the marriage
 
 
Child of marriage or other relative
Restricted, unless the applicant can provide:
  • Written Authority from the parties named in the certificate; or
  • Evidence that both parties are deceased; or
  • Evidence that the certificate is required for some legal right or entitlement
 
Access to original information from an adoption record
Must have written authority from the Department of Communities
Deceased Estate
Executor or Administrator or
Public Trustee
Application must be on business letterhead, or must show evidence of applicant's executor, administrator or trustee status.
Welfare
Government or non-Government Welfare Agency
Application must be on business letterhead and must be acting in the interests of or with the written authority of the person named in the certificate.
Court - State or Federal
 
Application must be on Court letterhead or a Court order provided.
Law Enforcement
Any Government body dealing in law enforcement eg Police, Anti-Corruption Commission, Courts etc.
Application must be on business letterhead and must be made in pursuance of an investigation or preparation of a prosecution or pursuant to a valid warrant or Court order.  (Does not include debt collectors or private investigators).
Medical
Medical organisations or government body requiring to contact persons with a potentially life threatening medical condition.
Applications must be made on business letterhead and referred to the Registrar for consideration.
For general medical research enquiries refer to Registrar for consideration.
Government Bodies - Statutory Access
Government body having right of access under Federal or State legislation, eg Child Support Agency, Centrelink, Department of Communities.
Application must be on business letterhead or approved form eg Child Support Agency verification form.
Solicitor
 
Application must be on business letterhead and Solicitor must be acting for a person entitled to access under 'Family' or 'Deceased Estate'.
Marriage celebrant
 
Applications with evidence-of-identity from either party can be accepted when received from the celebrant with the marriage registration papers, provided the application is signed by either party and submitted directly to them.  Applications after this time will be treated under the ‘Other Agent’ category.
Other Agent (including Consulates)
Any person with written authority from the person named in the certificate or a person entitled to the certificate as identified in this policy document
Applications with evidence-of-identity from either party named in the certificate or from other persons entitled to the certificate as identified in this policy document.
 
Power of Attorney
Documentary evidence of Power of Attorney required:
  • must be referred to Manager Registry Services and Policy to check if Power of Attorney extends beyond the person’s property and/or financial affairs.
  • Before accepting payment Courthouses must forward certificate applications with a copy of the accompanying Power of Attorney evidence to the Manager Registry Services and Policy for consideration.

Current as at 24 January 2018 and subject to change without notice.

Forms and fees

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Forms

Fees

The fees for applying for a marriage certificate:

  • $50 Certified Marriage Certificate
  • $35 Reduced Fee Marriage Certificate (+75 yrs. old)
  • $20 Uncertified copy of a Marriage Registration (+75 yrs. old)
  • $34 Single Status Certificate (for each 10yr range)
  • $35 Priority Service (not payable when applying in person)

To get married at the Perth Registry Office:

  • $175 Lodgement of Notice of Intended Marriage (non-refundable)
  • $215 Marriage Celebration Fee (includes venue and celebrant)
  • $50 Certified Marriage Certificate
  • $45 Shortening of Time (if approved)

The following payment methods are accepted:

  • Credit card - MasterCard or Visa only
  • EFTPOS Debit card or Cash - When paying in person
  • Cheque or money order - Payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  When paying at a WA court payable to the Department of Justice.
  • Overseas applicants - $AUD via credit card (MasterCard or Visa only) or international money order or bank draft payable to Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

 

Identification that you need

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Applicants are required to provide at least three forms of evidence-of-identity documents before being eligible to receive certificates.

One from List 1, 2 and 3. At least one containing a photograph

or

One from List 1 and two from List 2. At least one containing a photograph

or

Two from List 2 and one from List 3. At least one containing a signature.

List 1 – Link between photo and signature

  • Australian Driver’s Licence
  • Australian Passport
  • Australian Firearm Licence
  • Defence Force/Police Id Card
  • Australian Citizenship Certificate (with evidence of residential status)
  • Western Australian Photo Card, Over 18 or Proof of Identity Card
  • Australian learner driver’s permit card

List 2 – Evidence of Operating in the Community

  • A financial institution Debit or Credit card
  • Document of identity issued by the Passport Office
  • Centrelink/Veterans Affairs Entitlement Card
  • Birth Certificates (birth extracts are not accepted)
  • Medicare Card
  • Naturalisation, citizenship or immigration papers issued by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Australian Security or Crowd Control Licence
  • Student Identity Document or Statement of Enrolment

List 3 – Proof of Residency

  • Drivers licence renewal notice
  • Financial institution statement less than 6 months old
  • Motor vehicle registration
  • Property Lease or Tenancy Agreement
  • Shire/Water rates notice
  • Student Report or Certificate less than 12 months old
  • Utility Account less than 6 months old

For overseas applicants, the Registry will consider overseas equivalent evidence-of-identity documents.

Where to apply

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Certificate applications can be submitted:

In person

At the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Perth or at any court location in Albany, Armadale, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Collie, Derby, Esperance, Fremantle, Geraldton, Joondalup, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Katanning, Kununurra, Mandurah, Manjimup, Merredin, Midland, Morra, Narrogin, Northam, Rockingham and South Hedland.

By post

Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
PO Box 7720
Cloisters Square
PERTH WA 6850

By email

Email your completed and signed application and all other required documentation to bdm@justice.wa.gov.au

Announcements

Page reviewed 12 August 2020